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white coat ceremony

Discussion in 'Allopathic' started by inkare, Jul 13, 2008.

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  1. inkare

    inkare

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    Is the white coat ceremony a big deal ? Should I have my family fly LA to NYC for this ? Does everyone essentially have their family there?
  2. flaahless

    flaahless

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    I thought it was a big deal and told my entire family to come, only to find out that my school only allows 2. :eek:

    So I guess just invite your favorites and the let the rest be.:confused:
  3. lisichka

    lisichka certified demonologist

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    won't be a big deal for me:eyebrow: just another day. i am not big on all those ceremonies, formals, etc... i am more of a "let's get right down to biz" person:oops:
  4. FenixTx

    FenixTx MS-1

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    z
    Last edited: Sep 3, 2012
  5. Ashers

    Ashers Bacteria? Don't exist.

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    It was required at my school. If I could've ditched it, I would've, but my parents flew out from HI for it. Even one of the deans fell asleep on stage. It was so boring and a waste of time that I could've been working on getting my apartment set up.

    The "tradition" wasn't even started until the 90s, I believe.
  6. bodonid

    bodonid Dr. Spaceman

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    1993 @ Columbia.

    Isn't Wikipedia wonderful? I don't know what I'd do without it.
  7. DocPsychosis

    DocPsychosis

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    I went to mine, it was nice I guess, but there was no way the family was coming down to Houston from Dallas for that.
  8. TheRealMD

    TheRealMD "The Mac Guy"

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    Lawl, my parents will be coming from Michigan to Houston. :rolleyes:
  9. inkare

    inkare

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    The thing is its going to be really costly for them to come to nyc for it. The plane tickets are probably going to be $500 a pop, and since I will live in the dorms, they would have to get a hotel. It will at minimum cost them 2k for a ceremony. If its nothing that important, I can just tell them that, and save them all the trouble.
  10. oldbearprofessor

    oldbearprofessor MIT strong Administrator SDN Senior Moderator Moderator SDN Advisor

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    Wiki and it's references are not always correct. I had a White Coat ceremony and have the pics to prove it from more than a decade before what Wiki claims and I wasn't at Columbia.

    The White Coat ceremony seems silly and pretentious to students but is important to family members.

    Edit: I looked up the references Wiki uses and sure enough they claim vaguely the 1993 date. I'm wondering if we called it something else? I'll try to find out. But we definitely had a ceremony and I have the pics from long before that - it probably just wasn't "called" a white coat ceremony then.
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  11. lisichka

    lisichka certified demonologist

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    n/a
    Last edited: Jul 13, 2008
  12. hermit

    hermit Senior Member

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    I second the BS call on the Wikipedia article. I know first hand that (at least some) dental schools do it (and have been pre-1993 - I had to sit through one).
  13. ZagDoc

    ZagDoc Ears, Noses, and Throats

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    Our school's was required. I wasn't particularly enthused about it, but the fam was of course. It wasn't terrible, short enough it wasn't painful, I didn't trip during the trek across the stage, and the champagne and cookies at the reception after made it worth it.
  14. bcat85

    bcat85

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    This is interesting. I'll have to ask some of the doctors I work with if they had a white coat ceremony-esque thing. I wonder if it's just been formalized and now is no longer "getting a white coat at a ceremony," but rather a "White Coat Ceremony." Did any other older doc's on here have a white coat ceremony prior to 1993?
  15. bola

    bola MSIV (yikes!!)

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    I thought mine was going to be a waste of time too but after attending I found myself appreciating it more. Like others have said-more importantly, it was a nice opportunity for the family members and friends you called in the middle of the night during one (or more) of your would-i-get-in induced panic attacks to be appreciated.

    All of my class attended too (and it is not required at my school). What the heck-just go-you only get one WCC.
  16. Ashers

    Ashers Bacteria? Don't exist.

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    You got refreshments? We got shuttled to a nearby college's gym in school buses, no refreshments. It was hot.

    I'm also one of those people where the only graduation I wanted to attend was my high school grad because it was in Hawai'i, and therefore, more fun.

    I know my dad didn't have one at USC in '71. He also had to buy his white coat. I was just talking about how some people I know burned their white coats after graduation, and he was like, "I wouldn't do that, I had to buy mine."

    However, he told his work that he wanted to attend my white coat ceremony, and they basically gave him emergency vacation. Maybe some of the other MDs at the place knew what it was.
  17. Dedikated2liftn

    Dedikated2liftn Bodybuilder

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    It's mandatory at my school too (I'd probably skip if it wasn't...well most of orientation for that matter, lol). To me, the whole thing seems kind of silly anyway; it would definitely be more appropriate upon graduation.
  18. hb2998

    hb2998

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    Don't expect too much, you will most likely be disappointed. The best part is the speech the dean gives, and well thats about it. They hand out a lot of scholarships. Not exciting because you should already know if you got one or not. Thats about it. Don't NOT go, but don't fly in your parents for this one special event that if they miss you'll hate them forever. Its seriously not a big deal.
  19. nogolfinsnow

    nogolfinsnow

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    Tell them to save the money and buy you something really cool after you graduate. Our WCC was dull and was in a room that was only big enough for the students. I don't understand all the self-congratulations before you've actually done anything.
  20. eagle34

    eagle34

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    What's the dress code for these ceremonies?
  21. docmode

    docmode Member

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    I was in the same boat as you- med school on the west coast family on the east coast. They didn't come but certainly next year for graduation they will be there! No regrets at all from me and our's was nice. I'd vote no since the air fare is so high right now.
  22. Mobius1985

    Mobius1985

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    Wear what you wore for interviews, but without a suit coat, as the white coat takes its place. At our ceremony they took the photos, after we'd been garbed but were still on stage, that went on our ID badges and the school photo poster.
  23. neuroprotector

    neuroprotector you're my kinda crazy

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    I'm also kinda torn here. On the one hand, everybody has a white coat ceremony these days (http://www.mcg.edu/news/beeper/2007/03-01/rt-white-coat-ceremony.htm), and despite the potential inaccuracies of the wikipedia article, it's still a relatively new tradition. White coats have only been around for about 100 years, and for many people serve only as infectious petri dishes growing massive amounts of self-righteousness. The very notion of a white coat kind of makes patients seem like lab specimens - how does that introduce compassion into medicine?

    On the other hand, the idea of at least trying to maintain the notion of compassion in medicine is totally worthwhile. And it's nice to root the incoming class in tradition.

    I kind of wonder which aspect is going to win out at the ceremony.
  24. Slide

    Slide Haters gonna hate

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    The food was nice during our white coat ceremony but I'd rather have spent the time at the gym or something similar. There were no guests allowed to our ceremony, but seeing how much of a waste it was, I'm glad my parents didn't have to waste the drive over and sit there for 2 hours with nothing to do.

    There was no champagne either, which angered me. Maybe that's why I didn't really care much about it.
  25. nogolfinsnow

    nogolfinsnow

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    Now that would be a good use of our tuition; I'll take booze over the shi**y pizza they serve at club lunches any day.
  26. nogolfinsnow

    nogolfinsnow

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    Professional. We had ID pictures and such the same day. Of course, we also had blood draws done for titers, and at least one guy has his botched so bad that he got blood on his dress shirt.
  27. osli

    osli Senior Member

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    I appreciated or white coat ceremony, but not so much for the ceremony as for the free (tuition anyone?) spread of food, booze, and band afterwards. One of the best upscale parties I've been to.
  28. 172858

    172858 America = The New Texas

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    In the same boat here OP. There is no way I would allow my parents to spend 2K to fly from Houston to Cali for a 2 hour event that I kind of want to skip myself. They're kind of disappointed I took this stance (well, mom is), but definately got the point when I told them that they would be better served to just either write me a check for 2 grand (which would make more utility of the money) or put the cash in a barrel and burn it (which would save them time and trouble). Surprisingly, they thought both suggestions were equally ridiculous. But I think that my school has web-casted the WCC in the past, so I'm hoping that they do that this year.
  29. 167649

    167649

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    It may also be a good way for your folks to get to see your school (if they are unfamiliar with it). Otherwise, I wouldn't fret about flying them across the country for it. Save those frequent flier miles for graduation.

    Mine is in close driving distance from where my family is, so it's no problem. Eventhough it may be boring I'm also having my grandparents go, just because they are a bit older and I don't know if they will be around or able to go come graduation time.
  30. Dedikated2liftn

    Dedikated2liftn Bodybuilder

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    Does anyone know if this is common practice?? I can see this potentially leading to a lot of animosity between certain types of students. IMO, if I had received some type of scholarship, I'd prefer others not to know.
  31. SCRdoc

    SCRdoc

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    Yeah, that would be sort of uncomfortable :(.
  32. brandnewsaves

    brandnewsaves

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    my wife, a vet-student, had her WCC after the first semster of class...so some people had already been kicked out

    I think the idea of the ceremony is cool, but I think it would be more better servered after your first year or at least semster
  33. Dedikated2liftn

    Dedikated2liftn Bodybuilder

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    or after fourth year :smuggrin:
  34. brandnewsaves

    brandnewsaves

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    I agree, but it seems the schools seem to want to have it early on...just saying if they are going to have it early on maybe after year one
  35. inkare

    inkare

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    Thanks for all the response. I just wanted to be sure that If I ask them not to come, I wont be the only person who doesn't have his/her family there. Seems like there are a lot of people in my shoes. I guess we can have each other take pictures and send it to our families instead. I'm sure it will make them as proud. The cost of flying and staying in nyc for a 2 hour event is just not justified. Graduation is a more important event.
  36. njbmd

    njbmd Guest Moderator Emeritus

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    I got to meet and hang with Ben Carson, M.D. I was very, very glad that I attended this function. He autographed my copy of his book which is really nice. I have a photo of the two of us hanging in my office right now. Definitely worthwhile for me.
  37. MDrunner

    MDrunner

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    I was thinking the same thing! Fin aid is a sore topic..especially when you are going into that much debt! I wouldn't want my whole class to know if I had a scholarship...I would just celebrate privately with my family.
  38. Haemulon

    Haemulon Slippery When Wet Moderator Emeritus

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    The way I think about it, having the white coat ceremony and taking the Hipp. Oath officially for the first time is symbolically important. Particularly since we will actually be interacting with, examining, even treating real patients well before we graduate. Why wait till the end to take the oath? The ceremony can be boring at times for sure. But starting medical school is a really big deal. It not only represents a huge committment on our part, but acknowledges the great effort we have all put into get here. For many of us, we are truly realizing our dreams. And lets not forget how proud our family and friends are of us. It gives them the opportunity to get excited and share in a little part of the process as well. I am glad to have had it.
  39. neuroprotector

    neuroprotector you're my kinda crazy

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    The more I think about it, the more I'm coming around to this argument. It's too easy and safe to openly disparage the ceremony, because on some level the white coat is a little over the top. But it really does represent a lot, and it's a healthy attitude to have.
  40. bcat85

    bcat85

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    I completely agree with this. I mean, only 43% or so of applicants from last year made it to medical school, let alone the students who started out as pre-med and gave it up after a rough orgo or physiology class, or those who didn't apply after a rough MCAT or whatever. It may be a little boring, but it's definitely a cause for celebration. I'm proud of it.
  41. DoctorPardi

    DoctorPardi In Memory of Riley Jane Moderator Emeritus

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    I agree with Hambone. Yeah maybe it is boring but making it into medical school is a real accomplishment and means a lot to your family for sure. Maybe one day it wont seem such a big deal after completing medical school and residency (not to mention having a child, owning a house etc), but to this point for most of us this is the most significant thing we have accomplished.
  42. eternalrage

    eternalrage Even Kal has bad days...

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    i was so idealistic at the beginning of the year and felt that the white coat ceremony was some rite of passage or something equally ridiculous

    in retrospect it was just another lecture that i should have skipped
  43. 146233

    146233 Phthirius pubis

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    To each his own, I suppose. Indeed, many of us may come to share your feelings, but it's how you feel on the day of the ceremony that counts, I guess.
  44. bcat85

    bcat85

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    nice avatar. and I agree.
  45. neuroprotector

    neuroprotector you're my kinda crazy

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    From the sound of things, I'd bet there's quite a bit of variation in the quality of these ceremonies.
  46. Messerschmitts

    Messerschmitts Mythic Dawn acolyte

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    At my school many peoples' parents came, but many people just went by themselves. I'd say it was a 50-50 split. My entire family came; my parents and my little brother flew out to Cincinnati from Los Angeles. I just felt like I worked really hard to get into medical school, and I deserve to make my mom really proud of her son. I love making my mom happy. In the words of our dean, "the White Coat Ceremony is more about your family than it is about you. It's a chance to thank the people in your life who have helped you reach so far". We had a fantastic keynote speaker (one of the family medicine faculty) who gave a very spirited and inspiring speech that made everyone be super psyched to be doctors.
  47. Dedikated2liftn

    Dedikated2liftn Bodybuilder

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    High five, my friend...us cynics have to stick together. As said earlier though, I guess it depends greatly on the individual's viewpoint. Personally, getting into medical school is just another stepping stone towards my ultimate goal. Additionally, gaining acceptance does not mean you're going to become a physician (most likely, but it's not a sure thing by any means). Consequently, ol' Ded will bust out the champagne (well, more likely the fifth of Jack) and happy feelings when he lands his first job as an attending.
  48. da me ka don

    da me ka don Not in your P.I.'s lab!

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    Told my parents to forget it. They will attend graduation instead if I make it.:hardy:
    Told my Dad to write me the check for the tickets. Still expecting the check!!!!:confused:
  49. Haemulon

    Haemulon Slippery When Wet Moderator Emeritus

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    But then again, your first job as an attending will likely just be the next step towards whatever other goals you have developed by then. I prefer to not trivialize the activities of the present. The future will always be the future, but you have today right here and now. I kinda feel like I owe it to myself to celebrate the accomplishments that I so looked forward to in my younger days. Just as in the future I will celebrate those things I look forward to today. Living one step at a time, and enjoying every step.
  50. neuroprotector

    neuroprotector you're my kinda crazy

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    Hooray for remarkably well-adjusted SDN comments!

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